Let’s clarify the difference between SEM (Search Engine Marketing) and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
You’ve invested in a well-designed responsive website – now what?
I’m hoping every business that invests in a website has thought about the marketing objectives and basic ROI it needs to achieve. For your website to achieve these objectives, you need visitors to find your website and you want these visitors to take action!
Based on the latest Nielsen online statistics it’s estimated that 80% to 90% of new website visitors find your website via a search engine.
It’s critical you have an understanding of how search engines work from both the SEO and SEM perspective. This will assist you in creating a strategy that will influence and maximise visitors to your website.
What is SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) or Organic Listings?
SEO means modifying your website to improve its ranking within the organic search results of search engines like Google, Yahoo & Bing. Search engines rank and reward website pages that have the correct combination of ranking factors. Content is the key dominator for SEO so you must ensure that the content on your website is referenced and tagged correctly at the back end as this enhances indexing. Some technique are: keyword optimisation, meta tags, linking tactics, and web master modifying the correct HTML & CSS code to enable crawlers to crawl your website and reference your content.
SEM or Search Engine Marketing is a set of strategies and techniques that ensures you direct more visitors and traffic to your web site. Some techniques are:
- CPC (Cost per Click) paid text ad placements that drive mass clicks to your website,
- CPA (Cost per Action) ensuring you bid on the correct search terms for your visitors to take an action on your website e.g. sign up to a newsletter, register for something, contact request and
- CPL (Cost per Lead) qualified sign up and lead generation that enables guaranteed ROI per advertising offer.
Based on the above it’s critical for businesses to refresh the content and have their website and SEO strategies set up prior to investing in paid advertising.
Here is a quick check list to get you on the right path to a successful SEM campaign.
Setting up the Foundation:
- Have you completed a basic Website Analysis to ensure your website is accessible and is indexing via search engines?
- Have you updated the basic SEO for your website? These are meta tags, tile tags, descripts, keywords relevant to your content on the web page?
- Are you linking correctly; external links, deep links, social media links, and partner links?
- Are your images optimised and are they slowing down your page load time?
- Is your website mobile optimised?
- Is your website linked to Google Analytics, do you have Google My Business set up?
- Do you already have an AdWords account set up?
- Do you have a content plan for your website & social media platforms?
- Are you monitoring your competition?
- What is the purpose of the SEM campaign? Branding, Awareness, Conversions, Leads?
Both SEO & SEM take effort and time to set up correctly. Optimising your website is an ongoing exercise requiring consistent evaluation and understanding.
Once you have the basic foundation you’ll be ready for Digital Success.
Best of Luck!